, Volume 22, Issue 6, pp 469-479

Pharmacists' Opinions and Practices Related to the Sale of Cigarettes and Alcohol—A Follow-Up Study

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Abstract

Opinions that pharmacists hold arid their practices concerning sale of cigarettes and alcohol are of interest to health experts. As a follow-up to a 1990 statewide survey of pharmacists opinions and practices related to the sale of cigarettes and alcohol, this study was designed (1) to determine current opinions and practices of pharmacists' related to the sale of cigarettes and alcohol; (2) compare these findings with results from the 1990 study; and (3) to gather new information on pharmacists' practice of health promotion activities. A structured survey questionnaire was designed and reviewed by a jury of experts and subsequently administered to half of the 1340 pharmacies in Indiana. Collected data were analyzed by using descriptive and inferential statistical methods. Findings reveal that 64 percent of responding pharmacists sell cigarettes in their stores even though 82 percent think that their stores should not sell cigarettes. Approximately 42 percent of the pharmacies sell alcoholic beverages while more than two-thirds of the pharmacists (68%) think pharmacies should not sell alcoholic beverages. These findings represent a decline of 7.2 percent in pharmacies that sell cigarettes and a 6.8 percent increase in pharmacies selling alcoholic beverages compared to the 1990 study. Study results also revealed that most pharmacists agree the use of cigarettes and alcohol were important causes of morbidity and mortality and that pharmacists should play a role in health promotion and disease prevention to the public. However, the majority do not ask their patients about their smoking and alcohol habits and do not participate in health education/promotion programs for the general community.